25 March, 2013

Miscellany Monday #13: Valentine's, Eric, Coffee, Lent, Toddler and ME!

I love a good Miscellany Monday to catch up on all the random happenings around our house, so here are a few things that aren't full-post worthy but are fun to note or remember.

Linking up with Carissa over at lowercase letters
miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Valentine's Day, yes valentine's day. Eric and I exchanged a fancy meal at home. We bought grass fed filet mignon, a bottle of wine, and made some green beans tossed in chopped toasted roasted almonds. It was pretty much heaven on earth.  As per our tradition, we eat by candle light on a table cloth and china.  I love having a romantic night in with my love.

Turn your head to the left. This was my heart-shaped breakfast from Eric. He's the most cheesy romantic and I LOVE IT!!! 

Evie's little Valentine's from Mom and Dad :) 

Eric's gift from me.  Note: I am equally cheesy.


Moving on.... Evie dropped my camera a while back.  There was minimal damage done to the body, thank God, but the lens was completely ruined.  I debated about taking the opportunity to buy an upgraded body, but I am not ready yet.  And I wanted a new indoor lens anyway.  I replaced the broken lens with a "used one" from Amazon. I say used because it came in a BRAND NEW box in mint condition.  I only paid 2/3 the retail price.  WIN!

I had also been saving up to buy this lens but ended up with the slightly nicer version (this) for less than I could find the first one used, thanks to stalking Craigslist.  The photographer was changing camera formats / bodies and the lens wouldn't work any more. Did I mention he photographs all the black celebrities in Atlanta? I was shaking I was so nervous meeting him but he was super nice and told me to give him a call if I ever wanted to talk about starting my own studio or business (WHAT?!!?)


Time to brag on Eric!

Eric has such a passion for creating budgets. And after digging us out of debt, he wants to help others. He is starting Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University at our church this summer, and then again next January. The format has changed just a little since we did it four years ago so we've spent one night a week watching the videos, doing the homework, and talking through the small group questions. It's weird to say, but it's fun doing this again because we're listening for different things and picking up new tips.


Eric and I went to a Coffee 101 class at Batdorf & Bronson.  Here I thought I was drinking good coffee and that supporting organic, fair trade was saving the world. But it's not. I mean, it's better than buying a 20 lb bag for $2.99, but it's not enough (if you can find reasonable better options).  Jason taught us all about farming, processing, the beans, regions, and brewing methods.  We will be buying a clever dripper soon. (demo here) No more french press for us!  (He even talked about Jeni from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, that's how awesome this guy is)


Lent has been fruitful. We both essentially gave up screen time at night when we're both home. It's helped up stay on top of chores and conversation. We've been watching the Dave Ramsey videos, playing cards, or keeping up with the house. Occasionally we'll both agree to watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, or New Girl....but only if we're caught up on the others. I hope this continues!!


Evie turned 16 months and turned into a true toddler. She's nearly running, climbing, being sassy, and testing the limits. We've had to have serious talks on parenting, and have turned to family and friends for advice on handling things like hitting.


I have been pleasantly surprised recently to get emails or read blog posts of friends who said they attribute me and Eric to their using cloth diapers, considering natural birth, digging out of debt or switching to a less processed food diet. I am utterly honored. It's amazing how just living life is more of a witness than all the effort I put into actual teaching.


I am continuing to learn more and more about my "eating disorder" -- how much of it is mental and how much of it is the types of food I eat.  I am watching Hungry for Change on Netflix and continuing to read The Primal Blueprint. The more I read and watch the more I am learning that the crap in ALL processed food is designed to make you feel good and want MORE.  So part of my binge eating is because of the food I had been choosing to eat.  But the other part is what triggered my choosing those to start with....and that I am working on in  spiritual direction.

20 March, 2013

A sneak peek: Katie's Hair & Make-up

I took these photos on a whim a few weeks ago, edited them and forgot about them until just now when I was uploading to Lightroom.

I was on my way from a family portrait photo shoot back to my parents to return my Dad's lens (while mine was in the shop) when my Mom called and said she was at the salon with my sister for her wedding hair and make-up trial run.

Armed with my camera bag, I thought it would be great practice for me, but also great memories for Katie.  And on a practical note, a way for us to see how well her make up photographed. 

So without revealing too much of the bride-to-be's look. Here are a few photographs from the day.

 Just THREE weeks until the big day!  I can't wait to celebrate with you!

{shoot! three weeks?  Guess I better write that Matron of Honor toast}

18 March, 2013

Evie's Little Hair Cut!

When I was at the salon for Katie's trial run we were all talking about our pre-wedding hair cuts and who is doing our wedding day up dos.

It dawned on me that Evie's hair is growing like a weed, but is looking a little scraggily (scraggly? google is conflicted on the spelling).

I inquired about getting her hair cut.  Thank goodness the receptionist leaned over and told me that since Evie is just 16 months old they'd ring her up as a "bang trim" instead of a kids cut.  Bang trims are free.  Kids cuts start at $18+ depending on the stylist.

I'll take free, thank you very much.

She told me to call the day before I came in for my hair cut to get on the books.  I did just that.

Eric came with me so he could take Evie home while I stayed for my cut.  It was great to have another set of hands (read: photographer)

We arrived a few minutes early which was great. Evie could warm up to the loud hair dryers and all the commotion. She's a little apprehensive in new places.

Here's her "before" hair. Now, if she wasn't going to be in my sister's wedding I would have let her hair grow out a few more months before a hair cut, but it was tangling and well, just needed a trim to look polished for her flower girl debut.
 We were SO fortunate to have the senior most hair stylist at the salon. (Her kids cuts start at $15 more than my hair cut with a beginner stylist. Psh. We got it free!).  She was obviously very experienced. She had Evie sit facing me on the seat and gave her some clippies to play with.

 The stylist worked quickly. And some how managed not to give Evie a butchered hair cut amidst the wiggling.

 Look how long Evie's hair is!!! I didn't realize how much curl it had!

I was trying so hard not to cry, yet beaming with pride that my little girl looked so precious and so grown up! (the not-crying-beaming-with-pride face is shown below!)

And there is is!  Evie's big girl bob!  The stylist even took a round brush to it and curled it under (haha!)

(I am not sure why she has a giant arm in this picture)

My precious girl is SO grown up!!!!

17 March, 2013

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Two years ago today we told our family we had a little shamrock cookie bun in the oven.

I can't believe sweet Evie Marie is 16 1/2 months old already!

She's so grown up!  I love the look of determination on her face climbing up the tree house latter. And the sweet innocent joy as she gets ready to go down the slide.  So precious. I love photographing the little details of her face.

13 March, 2013

Habamus Papam - The Pope's First Day

Much like on March 4th when I documented the Pope's Last Day, I want to document today, The New Pope's First Day.

It's registration week at our Parish.  That means all the Religious Education staff camps out in the office and meets with families to help them register for the up coming school year's PSR/Youth Group/Sacrament prep programs.  There's usually no less than 3-4 of us in there in a given moment.

It was the PERFECT place to be today to watch conclave coverage.

Of course, this was after I hit snooze on my alarm a dozen times this morning and then jumped out of bed to check Twitter to see if the morning votes had produced a Pope.  Thank goodness it didn't because I would have missed all the coverage getting ready for work!

Anyway, so we sat in the parish office watching the chimney and the now famous seagull on our iPads. We passed the time by looking at memes and YouTube videos.

By 12:30 there was no news = no pope for the first round of afternoon votes.  I had to pick up Evie and get lunch and get her down for a nap before the next round of voting, which would require smoke, would conclude around 2pm.

I raced to pick up Evie. Raced through Moe's.  Raced home.  Quickly fed Evie some guacamole, poured her a bottle, changed her diaper and she was nearly fast asleep...

I raced back downstairs, turned on no less than three news sources, my twitter feed, 3 google chats, 2 texting conversations and my family's group chat....(my thumbs are still sore, thank you for asking)....

There it was!


One news source it looked pitch black.

One news source it looked grey-ish with a hint that it might be white.

One news source was still in an interview (holy smokes!)

But the people in the audience started applauding.

Though it almost seemed as though it wasn't clear to them either.  It was dark. It was raining.

Then I had to hold my breath for the telltale sign:  The Bells.


Ding, Dong, Ding, Ding, Ding!!!

(wow that's a crappy picture of nothing!)

CUE THE TEARS!!!!!  We have a Pope and he's vesting and praying for us!!!

I made the split second decision to abandon my Moe's queso and guacamole and head back to church to spend the rest of the day celebrating and waiting for the announcement with my best friends.

According to the time stamp it took me all of 5 minutes to put on my shoes, grab provisions and throw a  nearly napping - poopy diaper - barefoot toddler in the car and be on my way!

Some how I made it across town through mid day traffic ten thousand traffic lights and a cop following me in a record 20 minutes (normally it's 25+)....all while shaking with joy, reading Twitter (shhhh), and crying.

When Evie and I (safely) arrived the crew was in Monsignor's office watching the only working TV in our entire church.  (His office is a bit of a fort of boxes since he's becoming BISHOP in 3 weeks).

Evie and I sat in the back so she could eat her toddler cheetos.  We waited and waited!

We took bets about which Cardinal and what name he would take.  We were ALL SO WRONG!

But we were joyful and hopeful nonetheless when they announced,

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam!

We all agreed that Pope Francis seems to be a humble and sweet man.  I can't wait to get to know him as his ministry and leadership begins.

A great day indeed!  As Evie and I left, we stopped by the Blessed Sacrament to say a quick prayer of thanksgiving.  We could hear the bells tolling from our own steeple. I teared up again (of course) and Evie started clapping and dancing.

A co-worker text me this picture shortly after I left of our parish already decorated in celebration and thanksgiving!

11 March, 2013

Evie's Very Hungry Caterpillar Room

Welcome to Evie's Room!

I love how her room came together.  The paint really tied it all together.

Close ups from this wall ---

Genevieve - these were letters (from Michael's) that my mom painted and covered in cardstock for Evie's Madeline Party.  I stuck them on the wall with 3-M velcro Command Hooks.

The jumbo flowers my mom either had from her classroom or on sale at Michaels.  The little fruit filler is also from a craft store.

This little dish (a binkie holder) was made by my mom in one of her art classes. It's made from glass!

Moving to the right is the window, glider-rocker (hand-me down), yellow stripped curtains (my sister made from bedsheets for her dorm), Hungry Caterpillar quilt (Pottery Barn Kids), and paper lanterns (recycled from our Hungry Caterpillar Baby Shower

The center of the room is Evie's crib (buybuy Baby) with Hungry Caterpillar bedding and bath mat used as a rug (PBK).  And if you look to the right you can see the caterpillar rocking chair (garage sale).
Around the room, but mostly over Evie's crib are the canvas paintings my mom and I did.  All the canvases were stock piled from sales + coupons (other wise those guys get pricey!) and painted with acrylic paint. 

 She did some fancy projecting of the book pages so we traced an outline of the image and then painted the rest by hand. We made this while I was pregnant with Evie and just after she was born.

Continuing to the right are more paper lanterns, the changing table / dresser (buybuy Baby), storage bins for the diapers (Target), giant E (clearance aisle Hobby Lobby), and a shelf with little things.

Continuing to the right is the door and then the wall opposite the crib....

On this wall are a few more paintings, little shelves (recycled from my high school bathroom), the Madeline doll gifted at her party, and the shadow box I made to remember her first birthday! 

 And now the closet (aren't you excited?!?!!?)

Hanging closet organizer (Target) holds clothes in the next size up, her medicine / first aid basket, swim diapers, baby book, travel monitor, and spare cloth diaper parts.  To the left are Spring dresses, to the right Winter/Spring dresses.  Up top are travel diapers, over night diapers and lots of wipes!

My mother of the year plaque. Haha.... Evie' hair bows clipped to ribbon that was recycled and sticky tacked to the wall.

Old clothes bins, cleaned and organized!  Old toys, and toys from Christmas that we're staging their appearance. 

There we have it folks -  The first room of the new house that is DONE!!!  We'd finished the main part of the room about a month ago but I was waiting for a long weekend to tackle the closet, which meant opening every single clothes bin and reorganizing them (again!).

Our goal was to make the room gender neutral enough for all future kids, but with girlie flairs because, well, Evie is a girl!!  There is discussion of a red accent stripe, but the location and orientation is to be determined.

It's always so exciting to pull together a room with a little paint and a little creative use of old things!  Thanks Mom for all your help and design eye!